U.S. Horse Slaughter Export Numbers 1989-2020

2020

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada6919
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico28653
TOTAL35572

2019

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada10486
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico53947
TOTAL64433

2018

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada10568
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico70708
TOTAL81294

2017

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada12273
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico67289
TOTAL79562

2016

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada29481
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico78939
TOTAL108420

2015

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada40670
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico84938
TOTAL125608

2014

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada40410
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico105375
TOTAL145785

2013

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada42102
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico102554
TOTAL144656

2012

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada55781
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico110791
TOTAL166572

2011

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada59743
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico67782
TOTAL127525

2010

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada53803
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico52862
TOTAL106665

2009

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada52405
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico46098
TOTAL98503

2008

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada42232
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico56731
TOTAL98963

NOTE: Since 2007, federal appropriation bills have effectively banned horse slaughter in the United States by denying the funding for slaughterhouse inspections necessary for human consumption.

Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 (FMIA), USDA inspection is mandatory to sell meat in interstate or foreign commerce.

So you will see in the tables below that the number of horses slaughtered on U.S. soil dropped from 101,123 in 2006 to 28,902 in 2007 and subsequently declined to zero.


2007

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada32452
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico45609
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.28902
TOTAL106963

2006

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada21709
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico11080
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.101123
TOTAL133912

2005

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada17324
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico7821
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.86504
TOTAL111649

2004

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada19725
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico4114
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.60078
TOTAL83917

2003

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada21434
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico818
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.48377
TOTAL70629

2002

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada25219
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico774
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.40407
TOTAL66400

2001

Slaughter Horses Exported to Canada28490
Slaughter Horses Exported to Mexico245
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.51080
TOTAL79815

2000

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.40324
TOTAL40324

1999

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.62813
TOTAL62813

1998

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.72120
TOTAL72120

1997

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.88086
TOTAL88086

1996

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.113399
TOTAL113399

1995

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.112677
TOTAL112677

1994

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.109353
TOTAL109353

1993

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.167310
TOTAL167310

1992

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.246400
TOTAL246400

1991

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.276900
TOTAL276900

1990

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.345700
TOTAL345700

1989

Slaughter Horses Exported to CanadaNDA
Slaughter Horses Exported to MexicoNDA
Horses Slaughtered in the U.S.348400
TOTAL348400

NDA: No Data Available

Sources: USDA Market Reports; National Agricultural Statistics Service/USDA; AgriFood-Agriculture Canada/StatCan; Statistics Canada; Animal Welfare Institute

Why Did Eating Horsemeat Become Taboo?

BY KEVIN KAMPWIRTH | FEBRUARY 28, 2013 | MENTALFLOSS.COM

When news broke earlier this year that a spate of European supermarkets had been selling frozen beef products adulterated with horsemeat, a large portion of the Western world collectively wretched. A couple of the products in question—frozen hamburger patties and beef lasagna—showed horse DNA at levels ranging from trace amounts up to 100 percent, and were quickly pulled from freezer cases as the slaughterhouses of origin were investigated. The plot thickened this week after inspectors in the Czech Republic reported that samples from Ikea’s voraciously consumed meatballs turned up evidence of horse DNA, prompting the Swedish mega-retailer to halt sales of its marquee offering in 14 European countries.

As EU authorities try to make sense of the scandal and call for stricter oversight of Europe’s notoriously unregulated meatpacking industry, millions of people around the world are likely wondering what the big fuss is. Despite the notion of horses as pets and companions, horsemeat is widely and willingly consumed in countries ranging from Mexico to China to Italy. So how, exactly, did eating horsemeat become taboo for the rest of us?

NEIGH IT AIN’T SO

Humans have been hunting and eating wild horses since the end of the last ice age and, along with reindeer, the meat provided a vital source of protein. As early as 4000 BCE, however, fossil records indicate the beginning of equine domestication, which likely also marks the initial shift in the way that people thought about horses. One of the earliest public excoriations of horsemeat consumption came from the Vatican in 732, when Pope Gregory III issued a ban on the practice, hoping to distance the church from what it considered a pagan predilection. Even still, horsemeat remained a dietary staple in many parts of the world, especially Europe, with both France and Germany openly bucking the papal decree in the nineteenth century.

The church’s stance undoubtedly had a lasting impact on public perception, though, and likely accounts for at least some of the broad aversion in English-speaking countries like the US, England, Ireland, Australia, and some parts of Canada. Observant Jews are also unable to eat horsemeat because, as neither a ruminant nor a cloven-hoofed animal, it isn’t kosher.

Psychologically, as horses assumed the familiar role of companions in battle and work, the idea of eating one must have become increasingly off-putting. And, although eaten by people of all classes throughout history, many cultures now associate horsemeat with penury—a last resort when beef and pork are unaffordable. The practice has never taken hold in America, but, up until 2007 when the nation’s last horse abattoir was shuttered in Illinois, thousands of horses were slaughtered and processed here annually for export.

ALL THE TASTY HORSES

So, who’s eating the equines? Figures from 2010 showed Mexico as the top producer of horsemeat for that year with 140,000 tons, followed by China (126,000 tons) and Kazakhstan (114,000 tons). Although horsemeat is still consumed in these countries, much of it is processed for export to Europe and Central Asia.

In Japan, a popular horsemeat dish called basashi is served raw, sashimi style. In both Kazakhstan and South Korea, fat from the neck meat is prized for its flavor. Belgium, France, and Germany all have long and unapologetic roots in equine cuisine, and sauerbraten was originally prepared using horse. The meat is a staple in many Northern Italian and Sicilian preparations, and is incorporated into sausages and salamis, or served dried and shredded for a snack called sfilacci, which looks like a plate of deep red vermicelli. The Dutch and Swedish prefer it sliced thin for lunchmeat.

South Americans generally shy away from eating it, but several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, all process the meat for export. Many Canadians feel the same way about horsemeat as Americans, but horse abattoirs still operate there and it’s very popular in Quebec, where you can find it in supermarkets, and other French-influenced regions.


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